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The President, Dr Adolf Macheka, presented his report to the year 2017 Annual Congress of the Health Professions Authority. He congratulated all delegates present for surviving the year 2017 which he said was characterised by a series of interesting developments culminating in a rather roller coaster economic environment.

On Ease of Doing Business, Dr Macheka said that the Health Professions Authority worked very closely with its member Councils to implement this initiative under the banner of One Stop Shop Registration Centre. He said a workshop was held on 15th September 2017 where all delegates present agreed that the One Stop Shop Registration Centre was the only way to go as a magnet to attract foreign investors in the health sector.

Dr Macheka said after the workshop of 15th September 2017, all the Councils met with the Honourable Minister of Health and Child Care to give an update on the issue. He said the Minister then requested a written update from each Council on the various initiatives that were being undertaken to implement the Ease of Doing Business concept. He said the Minister would do another update follow-up meeting in the first quarter of year 2018. He said at the same time the Minister would deal with issues pertaining to delays and bottlenecks at local authorities and other regulatory players outside the HPA umbrella.


With regards Medical Aid Societies Bill, Dr Macheka said his understanding was that the Bill was now at consultative stage and he was certain that some health professionals had already participated in those consultative meetings. He hoped that once approved, the Bill would resolve some of the key differences on issues such as tariffs between health funders and service providers.


On the establishment of a National Health Insurance Scheme, Dr Macheka said stakeholders were still to be consulted and advised of the technical details and how the scheme would impact on the landscape of health service provision.


In his report, Dr Macheka touched on the issue of resource mobilization initiatives for self-sustenance. He highlighted that regulation was a public duty and whilst HPA collected some levies, it was the duty of the fiscus to assist HPA financially to enable it to fully execute its mandate. He said in other jurisdictions, the duty of registration and inspection of health institutions was run by the government and not quasi-institutions such as HPA. He said self -sustenance did not apply to HPA when it played a public duty role that needed fiscus support. He emphasized the need for fiscal support for HPA and relieve health professionals from sorely bearing the financial obligation of funding HPA inspection operations.


Moving to the issue of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers’ registration with HPA, Dr Macheka said both HPA and Pharmaceutical Wholesalers submitted their position papers to the Minister of Health and Child Care and a response was being awaited.